Paris, July 25 (UNI/Sputnik): The Netherlands has rolled out its first preventive vaccination campaign against monkeypox, Dutch media reported on Monday.
According to Dutch newspaper NL Times, the vaccination was launched in the Amsterdam and the Hague regions, as they recorded most monkeypox cases. The campaign will be expanded to include the rest of the country later, it noted. The first group eligible to receive shots will include 32,000 people.
Over the last two weeks, the Municipal Health Service (GGD) administered vaccines against monkeypox to a small group of people, who were at an active risk of catching the virus, for example, in case of close contact with an infected person. The Netherlands has 712 confirmed monkeypox cases as of Thursday.
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that is usually transmitted to people from wild animals and is endemic in some African countries. The infection can be transmitted through body fluids, respiratory droplets and other contaminated materials.
On Saturday, World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the current monkeypox outbreak as public health emergency of international concern and said that over 16,000 cases of the infection have been registered so far in 75 countries and territories, with five confirmed deaths.